Thursday, September 29, 2011


Just the word victim brings chills down my spine, and anger to my heart. Being considered a victim has never been something that I have ever wanted in my life. And I am happy to say that I have spent all of my years refusing to be one. Some people seem to need the title of victim. I am sure it is rooted in some deep need to be loved. To be consoled; for some reason being the victim is their only way to get this…how sad. These people let the world around them control how their day will be. They let others do the same. They have been stunted in human psychological growth on some level. I am not saying there are no victims in this world. Certainly those that have been beaten for no reason or starve to death from circumstances out of their control certainly are…but the key word here is control. We are all in control of our own destinies on some level. And it is realizing this fact that takes you from victim to victor.
These are two of the definitions from the Marriam Webster on line dictionary. VICTIM : a) one that is injured, destroyed, or sacrificed under any of various conditions b) : one that is tricked or duped
People who have a chronic condition such as lupus certainly feel victimized by the wolf. But having been victimized is very different from allowing yourself to be a victim. When the outside force of illness, such as lupus, is imposing itself on you, you don’t have the control to stop it. What you do have is control in how you will deal with it. Only you have control over your mind, and the way in which you perceive yourself as this victim. Pain for instance; it is a very difficult thing to deal with. It sometimes feels as if it controls your life. When I first came down with this illness I could not walk. I could not dress myself. I could not feed myself. My entire body was under attack and every joint and muscle was inflamed and swollen. But through the adversity of this situation I was put in; I fought back. Every day I searched for answers to make it stop. I broke it up into two categories. The first was finding the right medical treatment for the long term. The second was finding how I can help myself on a daily basis to function. The medical info was easy compared to the daily. For the daily living I tackled one issue at a time. I got a walker and exercised with it for ten minutes every hour starting at 3am – 11am…by noon time I was able to hobble without it. I found this to be a painful yet necessary part of my daily living. To get dressed I needed the help of my husband. I hated that and it would anger me. Every day he would scold at me when I would inevitably get caught in my tee shirt, and have to find him, somewhere in the house, to release me. He would tell me, “Debra, just let me do it for you.” I always responded back with an adamant, NO! I am going to figure this out.” We both celebrated with tears the first time I was successful. Feeding me was the same. My hands were so swollen that I couldn’t bend my fingers. I dropped everything I reached for. To paint I strapped brushes to hand braces, so that wasn’t an issue. But every time I ate I would make such a mess. I would spill everything down the front of me and all over the table around me. Cutting my meat was the worst. At the dinner table my family would watch in silence as I struggled with this. They always waited until I was to the point of anger and frustration. They knew that through that anger someday I would find the strength to concur this…and I eventually did. I CHOSE not to be the victim. And I am happy to say that through this entire disease I never have been. It would have been easier to just let them take over for me: my work, my life. But what kind of life would that have been? I chose to be the victor.
This is why when I was recently attacked by an on-line bully; I chose not to be the victim. Had he actually known me and how I fight for quality in my life he would have seen how useless his efforts would have been.
He was an individual that got angry at me because I had asked him not to advertise his store on a lupus support site. I was doing a favor for a friend and monitoring the site for a day while she was at work. It was stated very clearly in the rules at the top of the page that there was to be absolutely no advertising or self promoting. I asked him in a non threatening way to please remove his link. He then attacked me verbally. Calling me names and assaulting my personal integrity. Claiming I have never done anything for raising lupus awareness.
This man was claiming to be a nonprofit business selling lupus charms, music and art. Ignoring his ridicules claims towards me, I asked him which state he applied for his nonprofit, and does he have the proper paperwork to back it up. He refused to answer me. I asked him how much he has donated and to whom. He once again refused to answer. These are questions that are legally required to be answered by all non profits when asked. It is the law. Instead he attacked me further. Personally calling me names and accusing me of trying to shut him down. At that point I simply stated, “The rules of the page are no advertising for personal gains…please remove the link.” I then left to go to work. The whole incident left my mind and I didn’t think about it again.
Five months later, he posted my picture with someone else who is very dear to me. He libeled us across the internet on various websites and Facebook pages. I chose to rise above this childish behavior and ignored him. I never responded to his attacks, and I did not lower myself to his level and post anything negative about him. Other than a select few, my close personal friends, at home, didn’t even know this was happening to me.
This whole ordeal got me to thinking. He tried to victimize me by, in fact, making himself the victim in the eyes of others. He was gaining pleasure by telling everyone I was somehow hurting him. This man does not have lupus…he claims his wife does. So why would he want to be considered a victim? He seems to thrive off people feeling sorry for him. The man is obviously sick on some level emotionally. At a certain level I did feel sorry for him, just not in the way he would have liked. I felt this behavior was not healthy for him. So I chose for his sake not to feed into his victimization he so seems to need. Hopefully if he reads this, he will look inside and realize for the sake of his poor wife that has to live with him, and deal with lupus, that this is not healthy for her as well. He is a very angry man and I cannot imagine living with someone like that when I myself do not feel well. His anger is misguided and I hope she realizes how selfish he is actually being by allowing this behavior to be in their lives. I hope too that she realizes she has control over her own life and shouldn’t feel she has to be a part of his outbursts. If she chooses to live like this…than she is allowing herself to be a victim as well.
It can be easy for one to become hurt and angry when one is attacked by another. Yet it is the stronger mind that understands this person to be weak and therefore one can’t help but pity him
I was humbled by the support I received by hundreds of people who had seen what this man had tried to do to me. They are readers and friends I never would have known had, had it not been for this situation. Thank you all so much.


  1. Debra, sharing your story has been amazing and encouraging for many..I am thankful that this one idiot, as I have called him, could not strike his negativity upon you..I, for one, am no victim either and read your words for encouragement and continued motivation to keep working and moving and not let the illnesses I have control me! Thank you for the awareness you have brought to many!

  2. I am so glad I was told about you through a mutual friend Kathy Ann.. I am looking forward to reading more of your post... I almost died July 2009 when my body crashed for no apparent reason - my immune system shut down and I couldn't breath, walk, move or anything - my husband told me that I looked like a tree someone forgot to water and no one thought I would live. Here I am a mother of 6 trying to exist in a pain filled life... I am trying to find my way back to encouraging others, and have been all alone in this these past few years - my family depends on me and because no matter how much pain I am in I seem to find a way to push through and be there for them more times than not - It is extremely difficult and it is very lonely - because no one talks about it and when I say darn I hurt - it just sits in the air and no one will acknowledge or support me. My husband is not supportive he is evasive - which makes me so stubborn I will work myself into such tailspins that I end up worse off .. I don't know how to get him on board - and not sure he really is interested himself - he is very absorbed in the lives of the children and his new business and his busy job - that I am an after thought if a thought at all. I have always been a stubborn determined person - pushing through and doing anything I put my mind to .. I find myself being lost as I mentioned before - hoping to find my light again and gain if not physical strength my mental strength which I have always prided myself as having. I look forward to following you and your progress. Thanks so much for sharing - Tammy Nash (